No Fear Energy Tour 2009 Rocks Lafayette
Band Photo: Lamb of God (?)
Lamb of God is on tour for their seventh studio release, “Wrath,” and they’ve brought along friends that aren’t unknown in the metal community. The tour is only about two months long so catch it if you can. I personally had to drive two hours westward to see the show in Lafayette, Louisiana. But the venue chosen in Lafayette was perfect; it is a medium-sized arena I used to see rodeos in as a child (Lafayette is my hometown.) In New Orleans, we have small bars or sports arenas. In Lafayette, walking into the show was like entering another world like I have never experienced. It was a pitch-blackness with a large stage at the very far end that seemed like the end of the world; the light at the end of a tunnel. Before the show even started, kids were lying next to piles of beer puke on the stone floor. You know it’s going to be a good show.
To call the bands that play before Lamb of God “opening bands” is insulting. Everyone here is at least fairly well known. Municipal Waste (who are from the same town as Lamb of God; Richmond, Virginia) played first. They walked on to the stage to “OhYeah” by Yello. You know, that song from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?” They started fast and thrashy and never did they slow down during their entire set. Tony paced the stage back and forth, never ceasing (which is why I never got a good picture of him.) Guitarist Ryan Waste blazed up his guitar with great ferocity. To signal the end of the set, Tony blew a mysterious orange liquid into the audience out of the scariest looking beer bong I’ve ever seen. Municipal Waste ended as quickly and harshly as they began. Watching them was a furious headtrip that ends so suddenly, you find yourself confused and sullied lying in a pool of urine and blood. They were great.
Next up was God Forbid. They played well, but as far as showmanship and enthusiasm, I was disappointed. Maybe the hyper-chaos of Municipal Waste got my blood pumping so much that a heavier, slower band just bored me. Maybe. The boys in the band were pretty much stationary, concentrating hard on their craft. Careful not to distract themselves with crowd interaction so they wouldn’t miss a note. To me, metal is aggressive and rough, not precise all the time. Yes, they played well. That’s about it.
As I Lay Dying came after God Forbid. I must admit that I didn’t enter the arena for them. I was outside watching a man being kicked-out of the show for fighting and almost being tazored for the threats he was throwing at security. That was much more interesting to me than As I Lay Cr…Dying. From the outside, I could see lots of strobe lights and headbanging. My hips could sway to the perfectly-rhythmed beat. My boredom was not uncommon though because two unidentified hoodlums from Municipal Waste ran shirtless onto the stage as the band played to stir up a little fun for the real metalheads in the audience.
Almost to the end! After it was safe to return to the arena, Children of Bodom killed the sterility that the last band left, as only Finnish bands can do. All of them headbanged and ran and jumped. There was more energy than one can handle without getting a head rush and passing out. The music was amazing; melodic and heavy. Executed beautifully by all the members on stage. The vocals by the paler-than-the-moon Alexi Laiho could be felt like lightning up the spine. However, there was a very rotund old woman behind me obviously there for the bands that everyone in the United States knows bellowing the entire set that Children of Bodom are pussies and to get off the stage. If I hadn’t wanted to see the rest of their set so much, I would have flipped her fat ass over the guard rail for the stairs her blubber was hanging over. But I digress. Children of Bodom were the players of the night (with Municipal Waste as a close second, of course.) So much crowd interaction, which is what makes you enjoy the band, and such eloquent playing, which is what makes you enjoy metal music.
Finally, the tour’s reason for being; Lamb of God. I must admit, they surprised me. I expected a less energetic band than when they were younger and hungrier. Lamb of God enjoys very good success being as popular as they are, not to mention that the latest album, “Wrath,” was released well before the tour began, so they are the apple of the public eye at the moment. The playing was rude and crude. The vocals were very harsh. Sweat was pouring and the energy was flowing. I wouldn’t have minded seeing them in a small bar with people jumping off of chairs and smoke burning my eyes. Frontman Randy Blythe impressed me personally with his respect and knowledge of New Orleans metal. He was even wearing a Soilent Green shirt. It may have been just a cheap trick to win over the harder metal fans in attendance, but it worked. The show was very enjoyable and a hell of a good time. I wish the tour could be longer so that more people could see it, but it is festival season and it’s Europe’s turn for the good stuff. Soon it will be ours again.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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